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Shut In (2015)
This one surprised me. It was taunt, well-directed, paced well and the actors did outstanding work. Beth Reisgraf as Anna was amazing! She sold the character so well. On a scale of 1 to 10, I wanted to give this one a 20! Nothing is given away until the right moment in the action. There is death and violence but it is not out of place for the plot. The director is to be complimented for keeping the story well paced and without any of the characters having to act stupid to make the story work. I liked the movie so much that I immediately ordered a copy from Amazon. It is worth it.
Remake of "The Horror at 37,000 feet"
If you ever see the 70s movie "The Horror at 37,000 feet", you will recognize the connection immediately. I did in the first few minutes of the film. "Airborne" however modernizes with sex, blood and violence along with the concerns about terrorism that is more prevalent today. There are more bodies in this one and humans do some of the dirty deeds unlike in "Horror". Most elements match though. 1)small load of passengers on 747 flight out of England to New York 2) everybody has a problem or back story(in them all that involve airline flights and disaster). 3)Ancient cursed object being transported that is the source of the evil events.
Differences: "Horror" had a 'happy ending' "Airborne" real downer ending.
The whole home station with Hamill and big government conspiracy thing is so 2012 and could have been left out.
Good actors doing their best in what was obviously a job to pay the bills. The actress that played the conspirator flight attendant was awesome!
If I ever see it on DVD I will pick it up for fun. A decent rainy afternoon movie.
The Selling (2011)
This movie was a pleasant surprise. It was on Chiller channel but really belongs on a comedy channel. It pokes fun at realtors and exorcists(great portrayal by Barry Bostwick-he must of had a lot of fun with his part) and the whole horror/haunting genre in general. The acting was good and the editing came off very well. The cast is mostly unknowns but they all did a great job. One character mimics a role in Ghost Busters. I laughed at almost every scene. If it comes out on DVD, I will definitely buy it. This one is better than most big productions. It is a tribute to the low budget film field proving there doesn't need to be a lot of money spent to get a real quality product. The ghost special effects are even well done. If you see this one on your TV schedule, be sure to watch it. It will definitely cheer up your day.
Mutant World (2014)
I just watched this movie on SciFi Channel and was impressed with it. The actors did a great job and were all very believable in their roles. The plot is pretty straightforward relating to surviving a major disaster. It has elements of a zombie movie too. There were several technical and tactical goofs and a major continuity error but I still enjoyed it.
Some of the non-spoiler technical goofs are:
The GPMG on top of the truck never had an ammunition can or belt in it. Magazine/cartridge pouches flat; common, at least put something in there!
Tactical goofs were the typical splitting forces in a known hostile environment and not leaving someone on the truck MG when dismounted.
The continuity goof would require a spoiler but it is pretty obvious when you watch the movie.
I liked that the 'survivors/preppers' were the good guys.
Overall, worth watching and kudos to all the young actors for a great job.
La guerra dei robot (1978)
What I expected it to be with a bonus.
I didn't so much as like this movie as was captivated by one of the minor characters. As far as the movie goes, it had moments of entertainment between very poorly edited/directed scenes that almost put me to sleep. It obviously, and as others have stated, tried to exploit other successful SciFi movies. The 'robots' were almost funny but I guess when you have no money, you costume a bunch of starving extras and call them robots. I loved the green, form-fitting, crew jumpsuit uniforms on the women.
One of the minor female characters captivated me though. She was the one that was shot in the back while escaping. Unfortunately,IMDb doesn't have any pictures of the cast so I can't figure out who played the part, since she is among the characters listed as "Trissi crew". Between a beautiful face and her tragic end, I can't help coming back to it as being one of the few properly directed scenes in the whole movie. We see little of her until the battle in the big room. Everyone is making their getaway but she hangs back to protect the others. Alas, her nobility is repaid by being left behind. As she breaks for her escape, she is shot in the back and killed by a robot. Her body rolls down the steps and rests face up with "dead eyes" staring up at the camera in a haunting shot. I can't understand how someone can direct such a good sequence but make the rest of the movie such a yawner! Anyway I would love to know more about the actress that played the tragic and noble "Trissi crew".
Alert Today - Alive Tomorrow (1956)
I remember those times.
I was a child in the 50s and this short film brought back memories of the time period. Nuclear War was a real possibility back then. We all took it seriously. "Civil Defense" was done by most communities with the Federal Government supplying training and supplies. One reviewer questioned the value of CD activities since there was no attack. Recent documents and testimony from the former Soviet Union reveal that their leaders sought the ability to obliterate the U.S.A.. Yes, WE took it seriously! The local people were expected to use this training and supplies to take care of themselves. It was definitely different from today's dependence on FEMA for everything! Neither then nor now would I consider this a "scare film" as was stated in one review. It was taken seriously and was to allay fears not amplify them.
It was one of the better films of the period dealing with this subject.
I wish I had recorded it.
Battle Los Angeles (2011)
Best 'Alien Invasion' movie yet!
I enjoyed this movie very much. It was orders of magnitude better than "Independance Day" although that movie had a broader scope. B:LA gave us the Warriors eye view of the battle. I would also describe it as the best USMC Recruiting movie in a long time. There were technical 'goofs' but the movie was so entertaining and caught me up in the characters so well that only one goof bugged me during the movie. The rest of the technical errors were perceived after calm reflection. This is definitely an "action" movie that is gritty in its realism. The equipment seems right on as far as my knowledge base goes. I have to believe that there were "grunts" among the technical advisors.
One of the best scenes, as a credit to the actors, was right at the beginning of the movie where they are heading into battle riding in a CH-46 helo. They all look 'scared' which is a credit to their acting or they might have actually been riding in a "Frog"! The technical goof I caught during the movie was the Laser designator having a visible beam. My understanding is the military uses LDs operating outside of the visible spectrum. The continuity error was the five man 'charge' where the Nantz character switches to his pistol and the next scene is before he does that.
The high points of the movie were the depiction of the Marines and their unit spirit. Even though some doubt their senior NCO, they fast-rope down to seek the C&C center with him in spite of him saying he would go it alone. Also, unlike many movies in the past, when the new Lt. is doing a low-level freak-out, his NCO encourages and supports him. There is no Hollywood type 'confrontation'.
Some comments I have read already say in one sentence that there is no character development and in the next sentence say the movie is too long! One can't have it both ways! The movie makers correctly chose to stick with the action and it worked.
I thought the actors all did a great job. Movies with little dialogue and what there is of it is terse are probably not popular with the performers but it challenges their acting skills more.
It Waits (2005)
A good movie with a little 'horror' thrown in the mix
I finally got to watch this movie in one sitting. I was impressed both with the movie overall and with the actress. The plot kept things moving along at a bearable pace. People acted like real people not like the artificially dumb bunnies that are in most 'horror' films. Cerina Vincent really carried the movie and made her character both believable and sympathetic. "It Waits" is more of a 'character' and love story than a pure 'horror' movie. The same story idea could have worked with a rogue bear besieging the Forest Service employee in the tower rather than an ancient demon. The demon was just more 'fun'. The love scene was very tastefully done. It was probably better on the actors too that there wasn't full nudity considering it was cold enough on set to have their breath fogging every time they spoke! My only technical gripe was with the choice of scoped rifle for the protagonists' firearm. Those were very dense woods but her rifle had an obviously high-powered telescopic sight on it. That would actually hinder shooting at the close ranges in the forest. Couple that with the fact that the Forest Service employee would only need the rifle for defense against rogue animals which would only be taken at close range and one must conclude that the rifle should have had open sights rather than a telescope. I think this comes from most movie people knowing close to nothing about guns and having the idea in their heads that a 'hunting rifle' is a bolt-action with 'scope type. Sorry that I am so picky but it is this way in so many movies. Of course the pre-fused and capped dynamite she used was a stretch too as anyone who handles explosives will tell you. You don't cap and fuse any explosive until just prior to use. Otherwise you risk an unplanned 'loud noise'.
I am glad I got the DVD both for the movie and the extra features on it.
Air Force (1943)
Another one for airplane buffs
For modern viewers, this is truly a movie for airplane buffs. How many movies can you find with early B-17s flying? I have always appreciated this movie for that purpose. Those early birds without tail guns and power turrets were all gone by wars end. This movie was made during the dark days of WWII for America and the 'D' models were still fairly new and in use stateside as training aircraft. Thankfully the producers just went to real Army Air Fields and used existing equipment. That is wonderful visual documentation for history buffs! Many 'props' were real! The Air Corps thermos bottles and the Air Crew bandoleers for pistol ammunition were great to see documented.
This was a wartime movie made in a period where we had suffered lots of defeats and few victories. The young men being sent off to war had grown up being taught not to kill their fellow humans. Most of the early war 'propaganda' films went to lengths to 'dehumanize' the enemy so that a young American entering combat would not be conflicted. This happens in all wars but is more obvious to us today due to the amount of films made during WWII. Regarding the talk of 'fifth column' work at Pearl Harbor, I believe some have missed the point of the propaganda. We have become so aware of the race issue that we miss the point made in the film. It was not so much to single out the Japanese ancestry citizens of Hawaii as to make the American people think that it wasn't our military's fault that we were caught by surprise. The theme in that scene and later on Wake Island proffered that 'our boys don't lose in an even fight'. It was to establish confidence in our military and equipment. The idea was to tell the U.S. civilian population that we couldn't lose unless stabbed in the back. Actually, much of our equipment of the time was inferior to our opponents. We also had mostly 'green' troops whereas the Japanese had a lot of combat experienced pilots and troops. It was a tough fight all the way through and our veterans deserve full credit for winning.
This movie is entertaining and a great one for airplane/history buffs who know what is 'right' and what isn't correct. Politically it is dated and must be taken in context. It is still fun to watch and worth your time.
Fighter Squadron (1948)
Great Aviation Movie with NO 'buts'
I first saw this movie on TV in the 60s. My brother and I being aviation nuts, criticized it a lot for little things. Over the years and many viewings on TV, I have come to appreciate it more. Although some of the dialog and characters are "corny", there is more than enough aviation footage to make up for it. When one critiques a movie of people and events, it is useful to consider the time period the movie was produced besides the time period it depicts. In 1948 there were no German aircraft left to fly in the movie and CGI was a long way off. I am much less forgiving of a movie like "Pearl Harbor" that could have used CGI to show correct models of aircraft than one made when "Fighter Squadron" was produced where there were no such resources.
Besides being able to see P-47s flying, some of the scenes have a strong sense of history. When they get the orders to prepare for D-Day, I have little doubt those were accurate to history. Using real incidents and characters from the famous 4th Fighter Group of the ETO gives the 'ring of truth' to the movie. For those that think the characters were "formula", you should read "1000 Destroyed", a history of the 4th Fighter Group. The real group actually had its own 'press agent' who wrote the book. The 'Kid' character in the movie may have been a tribute to the real "Kid" Hofer who was KIA while flying with the 4th. Remember that the real pilots of WWII were VERY YOUNG men. Twenty-five was an 'old man' in that group.
I think "Fighter Squadron" is a good movie with lots of great airplane scenes that is a fitting tribute to the people that fought WWII for us. It was a serious movie of its day made when the people who had 'fought the fight' were around to watch it. It took license with history as the producers apparently felt necessary to be 'entertaining' to the general audience. It was made at a time when we didn't criticize our veterans or question their actions. It was however more realistic than wartime movies. I too hope it comes out on DVD soon.